Visionary Membership Benefits 2018-2019

Why we’re here

Representing members we respect, in a sector we understand. Visionary is a diverse community including organisations of various shapes and sizes across the UK. We are united in our common goal of improving the lives of people with sight loss.

Our Vision

A world in which people living with sight loss can access the services they need at a local level where and when they need them.

Our Mission

To develop a strong national network of good quality local sight loss charities covering all parts of the UK to achieve this.

Our three strategic priorities

  • To identify the unmet needs of blind and partially sighted people
  • To support the development of the roles of local sight loss charities in meeting these needs
  • To develop a strong national network, working with partners to support the effective delivery of consistently high quality services for and with blind and partially sighted people

Quotes from members

“We’re able to demonstrate that we have a network across a wider area and are, therefore, part of a bigger influencing group.”

“The range of information and support available enables us to develop services at a faster pace and learn from others and share our own ideas. It also allows us to gain support that assists us to work more efficiently.”

“An umbrella organisation that offers a sense of security.”

What we do

Supporting our members to support the people they serve

Visionary offers tailored support to our members. Members can access a range of services designed to support you in sharing knowledge and delivering the best services that you can to people living with sight loss. Our relationship model means that every member has an allocated team member as your initial point of contact in addition to being able to access our other services.

  • Knowledge sharing
  • Networking events
  • Training
  • News
  • Contracting and Commissioning Advice
  • Outcome and Impact Measurement
  • Fundraising support
  • Campaigning Co-ordination
  • Trustee Engagement
  • Quality Framework Development and Guidelines
  • Service Development Support and Working Group Co-ordination (eye health and sight loss pathway)
  • Development and Innovation Fund
  • Governance and Infrastructure Support

Quotes from our members

“Visionary has been a huge support to me and my organisation. The staff are knowledgeable and friendly, the conferences valuable and the contact with other societies a huge bonus.”

“I have been able to meet and discuss with like minded people across the country to better understand the common goals we face and how we can demonstrate the network being a powerful influencer.”

Who we support

We are a locally led movement of national significance

Our key objective is to work alongside and support local sight loss charities to help you achieve the best results in reaching blind and partially sighted people within your local areas. Full members range from large to small organisations and our network includes large and small national organisations through our national and associate membership categories.

We have 141 members and reach an average of 218, 958 blind and partially sighted people

Quotes from our members

“Being a member of Visionary makes us part of a larger community of sight loss organisations. We are no longer trying to solve all our problems on our own.”

“Even though we are a small charity, totally run by volunteers, we feel included by Visionary and that big, or small, all the members matter.”

How we get together and share knowledge


Our two day Annual Conference consists of various workshops, exhibitions, and networking with an awards night and delegate dinner to celebrate member achievements across the year. The more intimate Leadership Conferences, held across the UK, consist of networking, knowledge sharing and national discussions.

Regional and Country Groups

Designed for members to share information, meet and discuss issues, progress, news and best practice with our partners at Wales Council of the Blind and the Scottish Council on Visual Impairment. Each group is represented at a Membership Advisory Group (the “MAG”), hosted by Visionary, which supports sharing of information.

Knowledge Hub

Available to members only we provide a range of resources on governance, finance and infrastructure, tools for outcome and income measurement, training and other useful materials.


We provide tailored training events and materials through conferences, specialist training sessions and through podcasts and webinars.

Briefings and Bulletins

Fortnightly, Trustee and Special Briefings provide updated sector news and information on governance, funding, good practice, member success stories, with focus on key news, significant developments, announcements and feedback.


Visionary promote member news, events, stories and vacancies through the use of our website, twitter and briefings so that we can ensure that your voice is louder and reaches further.

Specialist working groups

Visionary and our members work with the wider sight loss sector and other relevant parties, to develop guidelines and resources.

How we support you

Quality Framework

  • Access to quality guidelines, frameworks and principles for both organisational infrastructure and service delivery areas
  • Development and Innovation Fund
  • The Development and Innovation Fund currently provides resource support and small grants

Opportunity Development Support

  • Contracts/commissioning/ funding bid development support throughout the whole process. We have helped a number of members successfully bid for service contracts (local Councils and CCG’s), advised upon sub-contractor management, consortia development/management and developed grant applications – including a £300k lottery bid
  • Contract/grant loss/end – managing succession and organisation impact. We have helped several members address significant contract and financial challenges
  • Strategic positioning and planning to help increase income. We have advised and supported the development of income generation plans and wider organisation and business development plans
  • Working with commissioners and funders – promoting the work of local sight loss charities and influencing commissioners in the design and procurement of VI services. This work has seen several members be invited to tender (successfully) for VI services and also being consulted upon VI and eye health service delivery plans.
  • Support with fundraising and legacy development. We have helped members review and identify their approach to get the best return on their investment
  • Profile enhancement – Visionary has helped members of all sizes to review their profiles and to develop effective marketing strategies including using social media accounts to promote activities and events to a wider audience
  • Outcome and impact measurement tools and training – we have helped members increase their understanding and also to demonstrate to others the impact of their work. We have also helped develop business cases for electronic databases to present to boards and potential funders


  • We have, and will continue to support several smaller member organisations (typically with less than £150k income per year) with operational and strategic support on the management of their finances
  • Support in accessing specialist advice – we have helped members identify situations where they require external specialist advice and support e.g. HR, financial and legal. We have connected members to others who have shared support to others in the network e.g. recruitment, retention and development of volunteers
  • Support with business and strategic planning – helping to better develop plans with board members, staff, volunteers, service users and external partners
  • Helping members assess strengths and areas for improvement with volunteer led services and group activities
  • Events – we can help you with presentation skills and also work with you to identify and target hard to reach audiences
  • Training – listening to and responding to what our members tell us they need – e.g. GDPR programme of support
  • Provide confidential and objective support on a range of areas e.g. business development, operational problem solving, personnel issues, board/trustee relationship developments and financial challenges
  • Free legal advice – confidential legal advice helpline run in conjunction with the Charities team at Russell- Cooke Solicitors. A qualified member of the Russell-Cooke team can provide up to 15 minutes of legal advice

What our members think

58% of you said we are getting the level of communication “about right”.

92% of you find the Visionary briefings useful.

Our members have expressed how being connected to Visionary has benefitted them and the positive affects we have had on their organisation in the sight loss sector:

  • Improved awareness of what is happening in the eye health and sight loss sector – providing you with a national context
  • A greater sense of belonging in the sector – not feeling alone and feeling able to contribute to discussions with the larger organisations
  • Improved ability to demonstrate the value of your work, especially through the work on the Inspiring Impact programme
  • Greater ability to demonstrate that we are part of a bigger influencing group including improved relationships with statutory partners
  • Useful tools and resources through the Knowledge Hub and access to technical and professional guidance and hands on support from the team and peers which in turn enables you to develop services at a faster pace
  • Better engagement with innovation in service delivery and examples of good practice, inspiring and upskilling at the same time, especially through the Annual Conference and Leadership Conferences
  • An improved offering and support to smaller member organisations, particularly around governance issues and strategic planning
  • 78% have received support or used resources provided by Visionary.

Quotes from our members

“…Visionary help us to have a better understanding of the sector in general and learning from other sight loss charities helps us to be aware of gaps in our own services…”

“We have access to technical and professional advice and support, access to research and best practice etc., plus campaigning.”

Further detials

Visionary – linking local sight loss charities

Phone: 020 8090 9264


Registered Charity No. 1135360 (England & Wales) and SC044163 (Scotland)


Pocklington Hub, Entrance D, Tavistock House South,

Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9LG

View the 2018 Visionary Organisation Structure


“Visionary” is the operating name of Visionary – linking local sight loss charities. Limited Registered Charity No. 1135360 (England & Wales) and SC044163 (Scotland). A Company Limited by Guarantee No. 07185372. Registered Office: Pocklington Hub, Entrance D, Tavistock House South, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9LG.


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